What A Career In Human Resource Entails

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Human Resource
Image Credits: RMS School

An organisation is incomplete without its human resource department. Vignesh Sundararaman takes a closer look at this profession and traces its importance today.

“India’s greatest asset is her ‘human resources’. While developed countries such as the United States and the United Kingdom abhor population growth, our nation has always embraced it with a sense of inclusivity, which is why I think a career in HR has enormous scope here in our country.” Says Dhivya Hariharan, HR at L&T, Chennai. The scope of human resource management in India is huge. There is an increasing number of jobs within all the sectors across different industries largely because the number of young people looking for jobs has always been on the rise. Therefore, the demand for young and talented people has increased to a large extent. An HR person’s job is all about talent management, says Girish Krishnan, an HR aspirant. Managing talent is the most critical part of any organisation irrespective of its position in the industry. The HR department of a company works cohesively with all the functions in the enterprise and ensures that the company’s activities are in line with the goals of the organisation.

All said and done, we may wonder why there are still many qualified HR personnel out there without a job or with low-paying jobs. There can only be one reason; this field is still developing and is facing challenges for its recognition and its contribution to organisational objectives and goals. Like any other profession, an HR’s role also needs to be managed by professionals with expertise and flair so as to be able to scour the right talent as per an organisations requirement.

The Go-To Guy

In 2008 when the whole world was in recession, people across the globe were losing their jobs left right and centre leading to the crumbling of most departments, there was one sector that was still thriving – HR. During this time, it became the companies’ HR department’s responsibility to meet the enterprise’s human resource needs and guide the company as a strategic partner. In today’s information age, company bosses have realised the importance of HRand has started focusing more on this discipline. The main job of an HR person is to ensure the goals of the organisation are met through employee search and to strive and develop a positive and healthy working environment.

Key areas of work

Recruitment –HR Planning is all about finding the right person for the right job at the right time.

Manpower Planning –It involves analysing the current manpower status and estimating future manpower requirements, popularly known as succession planning.

Administration –Primarily includes defining an organisation’s HR policies, procedures and their correct implementation.

Training and Development –“Human resources are the greatest assets of any company. You can raise tariffs or prevent MNCs from entering, but one can’t stop the employees from leaving if they are dissatisfied.” Says N.R Narayana Murthy, Co-Founder, Infosys. Only when the career progression of an employee is taken care of by various training programmes and techniques, will he/she be inclined to work with a positive mindset for the company.

Appraisal –Involves reviewing performance appraisal system of the employees from time to time for the purpose of promotions and incentives.

Brand Building –A company’s brand image and the name are as important as its product or service. The HR department works continually toward increasing and sustaining the company’s brand image.

Study Route –Success in HR solely depends on one’s own interests, skill-sets and hard work. But if we were to sketch out a study-blueprint, it would look like this: UG degree in any discipline, PG degree in Human Resource

Management – MBA(HR) or MSW(HR)

In some organisations, a degree in law combined with a PG in HR is considered advantageous. Several institutes and universities offer courses in HR both on a full-time and part-time basis for two years and three years respectively.
Apart from professional qualifications, good communication and interpersonal skills can help candidates get the needed edge over others.

Career Opportunities

  • Every large and medium-sized organisation keeps a fully functional HRM/HRD department managed by HR professionals.
  • In public sector banks, HR professionals are recruited as specialist officers in junior/ middle management positions.
  • Management consultancy or HR consultancy firms recruit HR professionals as full-time or part-time consultants.
  • Academically inclined HR experts can teach various HR related subjects at universities, colleges and management institutions.

Does money keep the excitement alive?

Oh yes! Pushing away general notions and dogmas, we can safely call the HR profession a well paying one. Not all people in the profession are paid well, which is the case with all other fields also. The educational background, resume-strength, work experience and various other factors determine the pay package for an HR professional. Campus placements in reputed institutes assure a very good salary package ranging anywhere between five lakhs and fourteen lakhs per annum while consultancies pay HR professionals an average of three lakhs per annum.
“As an Analyst, we always have a bird’s eye view of our client’s company. We develop strategic thinking and learn to think on our toes which I believe is our niche and dominant strength”, says Vaishnavi Srinivasan an HR and Image Consultant.

Top institutes known for offering best human resource courses and degrees

  • Xavier School of Management (XLRI), Jamshedpur
  • Symbiosis, Pune
  • Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), Mumbai
  • Madras School of Social Work, Chennai
  • Delhi School of Social Work, Delhi